Football legend Lionel Messi’s set of six jerseys that he wore during Argentina’s victorious 2022 World Cup run will be auctioned in December and is expected to fetch more than $10 million, the world’s top dealer of fine collectibles announced on Monday.
“The 2022 FIFA World Cup stands as one of the greatest events in sports history, intrinsically connected to Messi’s valiant journey and firmly establishing his status as the greatest player of all time,” said Sotheby’s head of modern collectibles Brahm Wachter.
“The sale of these six shirts stands as a monumental occasion in auction history, offering fans and collectors a connection to Messi’s crowning achievement. It is an honor for Sotheby’s to present and exhibit these invaluable collectables to the public, which encapsulate the sheer brilliance of a player who has redefined the boundaries of football excellence.”
The football star donned these shirts during the first halves of the group-stage rounds against Saudi Arabia and Mexico, as well as later games against Australia, the Netherlands, and Croatia — and the final against France.
Argentina’s winning run in Qatar last year was the final feather in the forward’s cap, having failed to secure the championship in four previous World Cups.
If the jerseys indeed fetch above $10 million, that could make the sale the most valuable collection of sports memorabilia ever auctioned off, Sotheby’s said.
The most expensive individual jersey ever sold at auction was one that basketball legend Michael Jordan wore during his NBA finals run with the Chicago Bulls in 1998.
It sold for $10.1 million last year.
Auction houses have increasingly taken note of sports memorabilia in recent years, considered a growing market.
The shirts are being brought to auction by US tech startup AC Momento, which helps athletes manage memorabilia collections.
The jerseys will be available for free public viewing when they are up for auction, from November 30 to December 14.